The student who tweeted Papazoni’s note wrote, “Nazis don’t deserve a place here on campus, in the U.S., and in this world. They don’t deserve the air in their lungs.” Then he referred to recent incidents of “white supremacy and neo-nazis on campus,” which he called “absolutely terrifying.”
In total, 19 hate crimes have been reported at UMass Amherst since mid-September, according to Boston.com.
Yahoo Lifestyle reached out to Papazoni for comment, but he was out of the office. Instead, Ed Blaguszewski, executive director of strategic communications at UMass Amherst, tells Yahoo Lifestyle, “UMass Amherst emphatically rejects anti-Semitism, racism and all forms of bigotry, including Nazism, a view expressed in the students’ sign, which was displayed in a residence hall window. An email from a university employee to the student requesting that she take down the sign should never have been sent and does not represent the university’s values. The university respects the students’ right to display the sign.”
Related: Anti-Semitic fliers at UC Davis:
Representatives for UMass Amherst also responded to the situation in a statement shared on Facebook Dec. 20. In it, they distanced themselves from the email sent by Papazoni and condemned hate groups. “A poorly worded email from Residence Life staff asking students to take down the sign does not reflect the values of the campus, and it should not have been sent,” the statement reads. “UMass Amherst emphatically rejects Nazis, and any other hate group, a view expressed in the students’ sign.”
They concluded by giving students their blessing to hang the sign, however, the statement noted, “we are sensitive to the use of profanity, which some could find inappropriate.”